Intense media attention has focused on consulting firm Cambridge Analytica and reports of its methods to access data from more than 50 million Facebook users. A a result, a bipartisan call was issued yesterday from key leaders in Congress for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to publicly testify. In a joint statement, House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) said a briefing to congressional staff by Facebook officials had not fully answered their concerns for consumers. “Mr. Zuckerberg has stated that he would be willing to testify if he is the right person,” they said. “We believe, as CEO of Facebook, he is the right witness to provide answers to the American people.”
Of note, NRB has also been concerned with treatment of consumers by Facebook and other edge providers. In December, NRB launched its Internet Freedom Watch initiative (InternetFreedomWatch.org) to draw attention to the censorship of Christian and conservative speech by companies such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Apple. NRB sent letters to those tech giants, so far not formally answered, urging constructive conversation and a resolution to this swelling problem. NRB also called on Congress to hold hearings on online viewpoint censorship, and we hope Members of Congress will seek answers from Mr. Zuckerberg and other tech leaders about their commitment to consumers’ otherwise lawful free speech.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations
Published: March 23, 2018